Obrázky stránek

up, is a single cup cutting; on a second side, and near its base, a volute consisting of five rings or turns, and seven inches and a half in breadth; and on a third side (that pointing to the interior of the circle), a concentric circle of three rings placed half-way or more up the stone.

The stone No. 3, placed next to it in the circle, is between three and four feet in height; thick and somewhat quadrangular, but with the angles much rounded off. On its outermost side is apparently a triple circle cut around a central cup; but more minute examination and fingering of the lines shews that this figure is produced by a spiral line or volute starting from the central cup, and does not consist of separate rings. The diameter of the outermost circle of the volute is nearly ten inches. Below this figure, and on the rounded edge between it and the next surface of the stone to the left, are the imperfect and faded remains of a larger quadruple circle. On one of the two remaining sides of this stone is a double concentric circle with a radial groove or gutter uniting them. This is the only instance of the radial groove which I observed on the Calder Stones, though such radial direct lines or ducts are extremely common elsewhere in the lapidary concentric circles.

The stone No. 4 is too much weathered and disintegrated on the sides to present any distinct sculpturings. On its flat top are nine or ten cups; one large and deep (being nearly five inches in diameter). Seven or eight of these cups are irregularly tied or connected together by linear channels or cuttings. In this and other respects this stone resembles in its cups and lines the appearances on the capstone of a cromlech at Clynnog-Fawr, North Wales, and one of a series of stones on the Rue-hill in Stirlingshire.

The fifth stone is too much disfigured by modern apocryphal cuttings and chisellings to deserve archæological notice.

The day on which I visited these stones was dark and wet.

On a brighter and more favourable occasion perhaps some additional markings may be discovered.

The whole circle was inclosed some years ago by the late Mr. Walker, within an excellent iron railing; and the generous protection thus afforded will, it is hoped, save for many years from further mutilation, a monument which is, I believe, undoubtedly the oldest specimen that exists in the neighbourhood of Liverpool, of the art and work of archaic man.

Many suggestions, I may observe, have been offered in regard to the intent and import of such lapidary cup and ring cuttings as exist on the Calder Stones; but none of the theories proposed solve, as it seems to me, the hieroglyphic mystery in which these sculpturings are still involved. They are old enigmatical "handwritings on the wall" which no modern reader has yet deciphered. In our present state of knowledge with regard to them, let us be content with merely collecting and recording the facts in regard to their appearances, relations, localities &c.; for all early theorising will in all probability end only in error. It is surely better frankly to own that we know not what these markings mean (and possibly may never know it), rather than wander off into that vague mystification and conjecture which in former days often brought discredit on the whole study of archæology.

But in regard to their probable era let me add one suggestion. These cup and ring cuttings have now been traced along the whole length of the British Isles, from Dorsetshire to Orkney, and across their whole breadth from Yorkshire in England to Kerry in Ireland; and in many of the inland counties in the three kingdoms. They are evidently dictated by some common thought belonging to some common race of men. But how very long is it since a common race-or successive waves even of a common race-inhabited such distant districts as I have just named, and spread over Great Britain and Ireland, from the English Channel to the Pentland Firth,

and from the shores of the German Ocean to those of the Atlantic?

The race that first began to carve them were, there is reason to believe, that race among our forefathers who erected the cromlechs, the chambered barrows, the stone circles, the large monoliths and the other megalithic works, which are still found scattered over the British Islands. If we may judge from the evidence afforded by the barrows opened in our own country, in the Channel Islands and in Brittany, these megalithic builders appear to have been still sparingly, if at all, provided with metallic tools; and the chisellings and carvings upon the stones themselves can be all, I find, easily imitated, even on granite rocks, by flint weapons and a mallet. The ethnological proofs gathered from the examination of the crania found in connexion with megalithic sepulchral structures tend, as far as they go at present, to point to a race different from, and seemingly anterior to, the appearance of the Celtic race in our Islands. If this view, (a view held by some of our first archæologists,) ultimately prove to be correct, then we have in the Calder Stones,-and and within hail, as it were, of the busy mart and great modern city of Liverpool,—a stone structure erected and carved by a Turanian race, who dwelt in this same locality, and lived and died in this same home many long centuries before Roman or Saxon, Dane or Norman, set his invading foot upon the shores of Britain; and possibly anterior even to that far more distant date, when in their migration westward the Cymry and Celt first reached this remote "Isle of the Sea." The extreme rudeness and simplicity of the British cup and ring cuttings afford at least sufficient evidence of their very early and archaic character; while their general diffusion proves that the race or races, be they Celtic or Pre-Celtic,—that carved them, must at one time have widely overspread both the kingdoms of England and of Scotland.



By T. T. Wilkinson, F.R.A.S. &c.

(READ 16TH MARCH, 1865.)

THE tenth Iter of Antonine is well known to have passed from north to south through the county of Lancaster. Its principal stations are now much better defined than when the Rev. Thomas Reynolds published his Commentary in A.D. 1799; for he remarks, (page 315,) that "no Iter in Britain "has exercised the ingenuity of antiquaries so much, or been 'made out so little satisfactory." He fixes Bremetonacis at Lancaster; Coccium at Ribchester; and Mancunium Mamucium, at Manchester. In this arrangement he is followed by several other antiquaries who have written since his time.




The Rev. John Whitaker, the historian of Manchester, prefers to place Coccium at Blackrod, for which he is censured by the historian of Whalley; and the reader is cautioned against trusting too much to the guidance of Richard of Cirencester. This caution, however, must now be somewhat modified; for in his time no concurrence of roads, "no discovered remains, led to the supposition that two "stations or towns of eminence, in the age of Ptolemy or of "Caracalla, were planted on the banks of the Ribble." (History of Whalley, p. 13, Ed. 1818.) A second station has nevertheless been found on this river, near to Walton-leDale; and its discoverer, Mr. Charles Hardwick, has given a full account of it in Vol. VIII, pp. 127-140, of the Transactions of this Society, and again in pp. 39-46 of his valuable History of Preston. A fall of earth at this place has recently

disclosed a very fine portion of Roman pavement, probably forming a part of the military road from Walton to Lancaster. The pavement lay about thirty inches below the present surface of the soil; it was nearly ten yards wide, and was composed of boulder stones, sand and gravel, very firmly set. Since then a well-preserved coin of Germanicus has been found on the site of the new station; and these, together with numerous fragments of pottery &c. &c., abundantly prove that the Romans certainly had a second permanent station on the Ribble not far from the present town of Preston. The tradition, therefore, that Preston rose from the ruins of Ribchester must now be modified, since it is much more likely to have been founded from those at Walton.

Under these circumstances I am disposed to agree with Mr. Hardwick that, "till better evidence be produced,” the following may be regarded as the most probable interpretation of the Roman topography of this portion of Britain.

[ocr errors]


Seteia Estuarium Estuary of the Dee.
Belisama Estuarium Estuary of the Ribble.
Portus Sistuntiorum Mouth of the Wyre.
Moricambe Estuarium Morecambe Bay.
Bremetonacis = Lancaster.
Rigodunum =
Colunio Calanea Colne. (Ibid, pp. 36-7.)

Walton, near Preston.



Rerigonium Ribchester.








Mr. Hardwick does not attempt to fix the station Ad

pes Peninos" of Richard's Itinerary; but suggests, as others had done before him, that it was somewhere near Pendle Hill. The tenth Iter of Antonine is then corrected by writing" Coccium = Walton," and this station completes a "double line of forts, to guard the passes over the principal "rivers in Lancashire." The first line is placed "at the "head of the tidal estuaries of the Mersey, the Ribble and the Lune." It comprises Condate Wilderspool, near


« PředchozíPokračovat »